Posts for tag: ingrown toenails
An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem that occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, this can cause pain and swelling in the affected area. If you are a healthy individual you can often treat the ingrown toenail with simple at-home care; however, patients with diabetes, nerve damage in the feet or signs of a foot infection should always see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Causes of an Ingrown Toenail
There are several factors that could increase your risk for developing an ingrown toenail. These include:
- Heredity: if your family has a history of ingrown toenails you may be more likely to develop them, too.
- Poorly fitted shoes: shoes that are too tight and cramp up the toes can also cause painful ingrown toenails, particularly in teens whose feet are still growing rapidly
- Improper nail trimming: if you cut your nails too short or if you cut them at an angle rather than cutting them straight across you could be leaving yourself prone to an ingrown toenail
- Injury to the toe: jamming or stubbing the toe can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail (this is most common in athletes)
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
If there are no signs of an infection (e.g. foul odor; skin that’s hot to the touch) and you are otherwise healthy then you can probably treat the ingrown toenail all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take frequent Epsom salt soaks and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection. Again, if there is no infection you can soak nails for several minutes so that they soften, and then gently clip away the affected area of the nail.
If you are experiencing signs of an infected ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail it’s important that you seek a podiatrist’s care right away. A podiatrist can treat the infection while also removing part of or the entire nail so that it grows in properly.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
While there are certain factors such as heredity that cannot be helped, there are certainly measures you can take to reduce your risk for ingrown toenails. For one, always make sure that you wear properly fitted shoes that do not put pressure on the toes.
Secondly and most importantly, you need to know how to properly trim your toenails. Nails should be level with the tips of your toes. If nails are cut too short or if you trim your nails so they are curved at the edges rather than straight then an ingrown toenail is more likely to develop as the nail grows out.
Athletes should also make sure that they are wearing appropriate footwear for their chosen sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally so if you have any questions about the footwear that you should wear, don’t hesitate to speak with your foot doctor.
Find out when it’s time to turn to your Denver foot doctor about an ingrown toenail.
An ingrown toenail may not seem like a very big deal at first, however, it’s important that you provide proper care to the affected area so as to prevent detrimental issues, such as infection, from developing in your foot. From the office of our Denver podiatrists, Dr. Florin Costache and Dr. Lorry Melnick, learn more about spotting an ingrown toenail and how to treat the problem before it affects your health.
What are the warning signs of an ingrown toenail?
Most commonly affecting the big toe, an ingrown toenail is when the side of a nail grows into the neighboring skin. If you do develop an ingrown toenail, you may notice redness, swelling, and tenderness around the nail. You will even be able to see where the nail has grown into the skin.
In these cases, it's important to keep the area clean in order to prevent infection. Warning signs of infection include severe pain, swelling, and pus draining from the nail itself. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important that you see your Denver foot doctor right away.
Can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?
Most healthy individuals will be able to treat their ingrown toenails all on their own with simple at-home care. Of course, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or have nerve damage in your feet, it’s important that you see your foot doctor right away if you develop an ingrown toenail. It is important that you do not try and treat the problem on your own, as this could lead to more serious complications.
Simple ways to treat an ingrown toenail include,
- Applying a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail to lift it away from the skin
- Soaking your feet in warm water several times a day for up to 20 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling (for diabetics, soaking your feet is not recommended without first consulting your foot doctor)
- Wearing shoes that don’t bunch up toes or put pressure on them
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory to temporarily ease pain and inflammation
Need relief? Give us a call
If you are dealing with a painful ingrown toenail and aren’t able to manage your symptoms on your own, call Cherry Creek Foot Clinic in Denver, CO, today at (303) 355-1695 to find out how we can help.
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common podiatric issues facing people today. Going by the medical name onychocryptosis, this painful nail condition occurs when a toenail (typically on the big toe) invades the flesh surrounding it. At Cherry Creek Foot Clinic in Denver, CO, Dr. Florin Costache and Dr. Lorry Melnick see scores of cases every year, and they are here to help you too!
They need consistent care, just as your fingernails do. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that to keep your nails consistently healthy, you should avoid restrictive footwear, wash your feet daily, and wear moisture-wicking socks to help avoid fungal growth.
Perhaps most important, though, is how you trim your nails. Always use a pair of sharp, clean clippers, and cut nails straight across. That way, the nails will not grow into the surrounding flesh and cause an ingrown toenail.
If you do have an ingrown toenail...
Your Denver podiatrists can help. Come into our office and Dr. Costache or Dr. Melnick will inspect your toenails, including the ingrown nail. Then, depending upon the condition's severity and how present the infection is, we may recommend the following interventions:
- Warm water soaks two-to-three times a day for a few days to soften the nail (you may add epsom salts to the water)
- Wearing clean dry socks daily and open-toed shoes if possible
- Taking over the counter medications for pain relief (ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the dosing directions on the bottle)
- Partial or total nail removal in the office (done with locally injected anesthetic)
If a toe becomes infected as a result of onychocryptosis, your podiatrist may also prescribe an oral antibiotic.
If you need help with an ingrown toenail, don't wait! Call Cherry Creek Foot Clinic today at (303) 355-1695, and we will be happy to get you comfortable and moving well again. The clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be annoying and painful. This common condition occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself penetrates the skin. As the nail digs into the skin, redness, swelling, and pain are often the result.
People develop ingrown toenails for various reasons. Poor nail-trimming is the most common cause, as this encourages the skin to fold over the nail. Other causes include trauma, such as stubbing a toe, or skin conditions, such as fungal infections or nails that are simply too large. In some cases, the condition may even be inherited. Poor fitting shoes generally aggravate the condition, making it worse.
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-fitted shoes and socks
- Protecting feet from trauma when possible
- Trimming toenails straight across and avoiding repeated trimming of the nail borders
- Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent infection
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown, it can usually be safely treated from home by soaking your foot in warm water. Avoid "bathroom surgery" and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse.
When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by a podiatrist at our office. People with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown nail is detected, regardless of the severity.
A podiatrist can examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. For an infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Other treatments may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure.
Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured that they can easily be prevented and treated with the help of your podiatrist. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, visit our practice for quick and easy treatment.